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Today's Sports

  • Mang brothers ready to lead UNM...

    The stakes are higher than ever for Connor and Jared Mang. Not long ago, the brothers suited up in Hilltopper gear hoping to win district championships for Los Alamos High School. Now, they are two of the biggest sources of hope for the University of New Mexico baseball team, a group intent on returning to the top of the mountain West Conference.

    Both of the Mang brothers are extremely talented, and highly confident about what the Lobos are capable of accomplishing this year. They are also both capable of accomplishing great things on the baseball diamond. 

    Last season, as a redshirt freshman, Connor Mang was named to the freshman All-American team as the starting first baseman for the Lobos. He batted .326 with two home runs, 10 doubles, three triples and had 15 multi-hit games. He also committed only one error at first base. 

    This year, the expectations are even higher for Connor Mang, but he intends on letting his bat and glove do the talking. 

  • Atomic City Update: Coaches...

    One of the toughest things for a coach to do is continue to keep the motivation of a team high during the tough times. Not every season can be a rousing success, but coaches who are able to keep a team fighting when the going gets rough are the most impressive.

    I have seen that quality this season out of Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball coach Mike Kluk. No, the season hasn’t gone as well as some might have hoped. But that team shows up every game ready to fight and make life as difficult as possible for the opposition. 

    The team was rewarded with a district victory last week over Moriarty. Some teams might have given up and stopped fighting long before that game. Even after that win, LAHS is only 6-17, but it is obvious they are playing for so much more than just a record. They are playing for pride, and they have a strong desire to keep fighting for each other and improving. 

    These kinds of rebuilding seasons happen at all levels of sports, and not everyone handles them with grace and class. At the professional level, coaches often lose their tempers and end up losing their jobs because things don’t go the way they expected. 

  • LAHS wrestling sweeps district...

    In the first competition of the season against district opponents, the Los Alamos High School wrestling team dominated the District 2-4A duals, defeating every team that stood in its way. 

    LAHS took down Española Valley, Pojoaque Valley, Moriarty and Taos, with three of those wins coming in dominant fashion. 

    The Hilltoppers defeated Española Valley 60-24, Pojoaque Valley 72-12 and Moriarty 63-18. 

    The most compelling match of the day came against Taos, which LAHS narrowly won 42-40. 

    The match went down to the wire, but LAHS picked up just enough victories to earn the dual win. 

    Ben Gellis, competing in the 106-pound weight class, was one of the top standouts for the Hilltoppers, winning each of his four matches, including a highly important match against Taos. 

    Mateo Martinez, competing in the 195-pound weight class, was also impressive, winning each of his three contested duals. He also earned another victory by forfeit. 

  • Boys’ basketball earns district...

    Throughout most of district play, leading scorers Gavin Campos and David Owen have struggled to get involved in the offensive flow. Whether it was because of foul trouble or being double-teamed, the duo has not been as effective as in the early part of the season. That all changed Saturday night, as Campos and Owen combined to score 38 points in LAHS’ 55-41 victory over Moriarty. 

    The win marked the first district victory for the Hilltoppers since Feb. 20, 2017, a win over Albuquerque Academy in the district tournament. 

    Campos and Owen got involved early, both knocking down a three-point shot in the first quarter. 

    They also both drove to the basket with impressive moves, easily slicing through the Moriarty defense. 

    Thanks to their offensive output, along with a three-point shot by Sahib Khalsa, LAHS led 14-10 after the first quarter. 

    Moriarty switched to a matchup zone defense in the second quarter, and LAHS had a difficult time solving it. Much of the second quarter was spent with the Hilltoppers passing the ball around the perimeter, hesitant to take an outside shot. 

  • LAHS improves to 5-0 in district

    With three games remaining in the regular season, the Los Alamos High School girls’ basketball team is still in first place in District 2-4A, sitting at 5-0 after a road victory against Moriarty Friday night. 

    Earlier this season, Moriarty provided the Hilltoppers with one of the toughest district games so far, erasing a double-digit fourth quarter deficit to force overtime. LAHS regained control in overtime to win the game 62-54. 

    Early on, it appeared the rematch would feature similar drama. In the first half, Moriarty did an outstanding job of guarding LAHS junior Becca Green, who has been the team’s top offensive threat all season. She was often double-teamed or triple-teamed, keeping her out of the offense most of the time. 

    In her place, senior Alex Calderon did a great job of scoring, knocking down a pair of three-pointers in the first quarter, and another in the second quarter. LAHS connected on five total three-pointers in the first half. 

    The Hilltoppers trailed 11-10 after the first quarter, but bounced back to take a 28-26 lead heading into halftime. 

  • Atomic City Update: Carter has...

    If you are a fan of Los Alamos girls’ basketball, you have to be pretty happy right now. In the last two weeks, the Hilltoppers have taken down Española Valley and Pojoaque Valley, both games in which LAHS was the underdog. 

    Through the first rotation of district play, the Hilltoppers are undefeated and look like a real threat to win a district title. The odds of that happening before the season were monumental. This was a team that won a total of six games last year, and six games the year before that. 

    There has been a massive culture change over the last few months. Now, the girls expect to win every time they show up to the court. There is aggressiveness and a sense of confidence that has been missing for years. 

    For the most part, the girls remain the same from last year’s team. The difference is, with Lanse Carter now coaching the girls, they understand what it means to play as a team, have a better grasp on the fundamentals and have a solid game plan heading into every matchup. 

  • Hilltoppers drop to 0-4 in...

    Throughout the first half of the district season, the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team has struggled to find consistent sources of offense. 

    Familiar issues popped up again Thursday night against Pojoaque Valley, as the Hilltoppers managed only 13 points in the second half, falling 45-35 at home. 

    “We just have to improve,” Hilltopper head coach Mike Kluk said. “There are a lot of things we can still improve on. We can still get better, and maybe make a run in the district tournament.”

    Despite losing the first four district games, Kluk believes his team is capable of defeating some of the other teams in the district the second time through the rotation. 

    LAHS was within 15 points in all four district contests to this point. 

    LAHS and Pojoaque Valley played an even first half, as both teams struggled to get into an offensive rhythm. The first quarter ended 9-9, and the second quarter ended 22-22. 

    The Hilltoppers remained competitive in the first half without the services of leading scorer Gavin Campos, who was on the bench with two fouls he picked up early in the first quarter. 

  • Gonzales leads LAHS to top spot...

    In the classroom, Michaela Gonzales is only a sophomore. But on the basketball court, she is a leader and a key player in the LAHS girls’ basketball team’s turnaround this season.

    It didn’t take long for first-year head coach Lanse Carter to realize he had someone special in Gonzales. In one of his first meetings with the team last summer, Gonzales gathered around a team full of players older than her and with more experience and said, “We are all a part of something bigger than ourselves.”

    At the time, she may not have known how true that statement was. By leading her team to a 55-48 comeback victory on the road over Pojoaque Valley Tuesday night, she helped strengthen the winning culture developing around the program, and lifted the Hilltoppers to first place in District 2-4A.

    Heading into district play this season, the Elkettes were the unquestioned favorites. The team was 18-3 overall prior its matchup with the Hilltoppers, though both teams were 3-0 in district play.

  • LAHS hockey dominates final home...

    With a four-game sweep last weekend, the Los Alamos High School hockey team took over first place in the Rio Grande Hockey League with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

    The Hilltoppers hosted Telluride and Durango for two games apiece at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink. They were the final home games of the season for LAHS, which will play its final four regular season games on the road.

    Facing Telluride, which has also been near the top of the standing all season, the Hilltoppers looked like a poised and battle-tested team. After leading 5-2 after the first two periods, Telluride made a furious comeback, scoring three goals in a row to tie the score 5-5.

    Though some teams would have allowed that to rattle them, the Hilltoppers did the opposite. Carson Schramm gave LAHS the lead right back a minute later, and the Hilltoppers held on for a 6-5 victory.

    The second game against Telluride was far less dramatic, as LAHS jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two periods and cruised to a 5-1 victory.

    The second two games of the weekend against Durango proved to be little challenge for the Hilltoppers. The team dominated Durango 8-2 in the first game, and cruised to a 4-0 win in the second game to earn the four-game home sweep.

  • Hilltoppers drop third straight...

    Facing one of the top 10 teams in Class 4A on the road, the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team continued to struggle to find consistent sources of offense, falling to Taos High School 59-48.

    Since district play began, offense has been hard to come by for the Hilltoppers, as leading scorer Gavin Campos fouled out of the first two district contests. Though he returned to form Friday against the Tigers, finding secondary sources of offense continued to evade LAHS.

    Both teams struggled to find an offensive rhythm in the first quarter, as LAHS knocked down only three shots, and Taos found the bottom of the basket five times. Campos scored 5 points in the opening quarter, but went only 1-3 at the free throw line. The Hilltoppers trailed 11-7 after the first quarter.

    LAHS woke up offensively in the second quarter, as Campos connected on a deep three-point basket and Matthew Owen scored on a layup and a midrange jumper. Taos was deadly offensively in the quarter, though, knocking down a trio of three-pointers and extending its lead to 32-21 heading into the halftime break.